May 2013

My mom had taken the kids to her house in our minivan, so I had her car. It’s fun to drive. It has a fancy radio that brings in all kinds of stations. You know, it’s serious. Or Sirius. I love to scan through the stations and usually I land on public radio. I love NPR. This time though, as I was scanning I landed on a talk radio show and heard a woman talking about how she’d gotten married and then four years later, her husband started drinking too much. She said he totally changed and she honestly hadn’t seen signs of alcoholism before she married him. Then I realized I was listening to Dr. Laura, which I don’t normally do. Like most people, I’m not a fan of listening to the self-righteous belittle and shame others under the guise of helping. Because I’m an alcoholic in recovery, I didn’t turn the […]

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Just Write {87}

May 27, 2013

There are two apple trees in the backyard. They stand watch over the chicken coop. Their blooms are a soft pink, almost white. This year they will grow more fruit than our family can keep up with. We will leave this home before those apples are ready for picking anyway. Someone new will pull them down (or pick them up off the ground, hundreds of them), and I hope she knows how to make pies or crisps or something. The grass is littered with petals, like snow and the chickens peck at them and then drop them back down. Not tasty. We’ll soon say goodbye to our three just-over-one-year old feathered friends. The kids are struggling with this and I am too. We can’t take every part of life with us. We’re talking a lot about the good things, the very most important things, like each other. We’ll be there together. On Sunday […]

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Pretend with me a moment: I’m standing here with my friend Emily, at a microphone and I’m introducing her to you. You may know her, or maybe this is your first chance to say hello. If so, I must tell you that Emily being on this stage is SO important, especially for those of us with daughters. We also need to hear from Emily and her co-author because we struggle to like ourselves in our own skin, especially if doughy under the surface. I keep trying to tell myself that my body has done miraculous things, but I see other women and compare me to them and wonder how they look “better” in so many ways. I admit that, even though I know it’s not making me sound all that confident. How do we “get there”? To the place where we learn to love all our parts, doughy or not? I give you, […]

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Just Write {86}

May 20, 2013

It’s not that long of a trip, just a little over a half an hour. All three of them are so tired and the complaints and needs start right away. I’m thirsty, I have to go to the bathroom, Asher interrupted me!  I’m turned a little sideways in the front passenger seat and talking over Elsie to the boys in the back. They want to know why their older cousin pinches his nose closed when he sneezes. They keep acting it out for me, to be sure I know what they mean. We start to laugh a lot and I glance at Elsie to see her head bobbing and her eye lids dropping. She tries hard to stay a part of the short road trip levity, but sleep wins and her head is bowed too far forward. I take a change of clothes from the diaper bag and try to squeeze them between […]

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  *raises right hand* I, Heather King, do solemnly swear to, Never say any version of the following to you, ever: “OH you think it’s hard now? Just you wait!” (terribly invalidating and unproductive) “You just need a break!” (HOW? HOW DO YOU GET A BREAK? And then HOW, HOW IS IT EVER GOING TO BE LONG ENOUGH?) “Oh I remember those days!” (No. No I won’t. No matter how clear I think it is, it is not clear.) “Well, you’re going to miss this! Mark my words.” (Sure, fine. But that’s not NOW, so…) “It goes so fast!” (Yes, in some ways, it does. But no, NOT today.) “Those were the best years!” (Yes, they were. And also, NO they were not.) I will not say these things at the grocery store, the big box store, the gas station, a parking lot or the medical clinic. I will not say them at […]

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Just Write {85}

May 13, 2013

We let them stay up late. The neighbor boys were out and it was finally so warm and there was so little wind to blast through and take our fun. The boys all had light sabers and Elsie Jane had bubbles and a truck. That was after she climbed in the minivan (no keys in there, thank God) and blasted the horn by pressing her chest against it. OH HELLO. She got really mad when I took her out, kicking and screaming and walking away like I’d just told her to go to bed. But that tantrum was for later. Now she’s in her bed, calling out over and over Mama, Mama, Mama and there are nights when she only says it a few times. Tonight she’s not giving up because that’s what being over-tired does. The opposite effect. She asks for water and then the next time she has thrown All The […]

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Just Write {84}

May 6, 2013

When Elsie Jane’s head is on my shoulder and her back has a little curve to it, when her legs are dangling and her hand is patting my back, that’s my favorite. She got sick a few days ago and I held her a lot, her head on my shoulder like that. She’s starting to say a few more words together and lately sometimes she stops to hug me and then she looks me dead in the eyes and says, Mommy. Home. She loves it when I’m home, which is most of the time and still she occasionally just stops what she’s doing to point out that this is how she likes it. Me too. On Saturday, for most of the day, I wasn’t home because we had rehearsal for Listen To Your Mother. Thursday is our show, at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis, and how did the time fly like that? Like […]

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Looking back at the beginning I see this person that I’m not. She’s familiar and still has many of the same parts, like tense shoulders and a sleep-deprived furrowed brow. She is meeting the demands of life as a new mother with a fierce determination and resistance all at once. She is almost always the martyr, trying to win The Hardest Award, a competition created in her own mind, mostly played against her husband. He doesn’t know they’re playing, so he’s always losing, which is her point, I suppose. Make up the rules and then keep them between yourself and your ruminating mind. I still do these things, sometimes. I get tired and stressed and fall back into the easiest way, which is the hardest way. Like playing a bass drum in a sound-proof room, alone, expecting the world to sit up and pay attention to the way its too loud for your […]

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